Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bias Striped Border

I finshed the top I was working on with a bias striped border.

The blocks came from the guild scrap table - 10 moose in a corner quilt-along blocks, I think the note said. One was a full 1/2" shorter than the rest (which, it turned out, were mostly about 12 1/4" rather than 12 1/2").   I fixed that one up with some new strips (fortunately it was a bordered design, and some extra jelly roll strips were included). Then I cut all the blocks to 12 1/4", and put the quilt top
together.

As I mentioned in another post, I quilted a lovely quilt for a customer, where she'd done a border with striped fabric, cut on the bias. I thought the effect was lovely, and as I was working on my current quilt it struck me that this would be a perfect accent for this. Especially since I had a striped fabric in a suitable pink, just looking for a home.

So I did some calculations. When I was talking to my customer about her border, she pointed out that the stripes actually changed direction at each corner.  She figured out that it would be necessary to cut bias strips in two directions, in order to keep the stripes all aligned.  I shamelessly stole all her hints, and set out to a make a bias-cut striped border that was all running in the same direction.  So I pulled out my trusty "Quilt Calc" app, and asked it how much fabric I needed to cut. The quilt center was about 40x50, so I figured 100" of bias border in each direction.  According to the app, 100" of 2.5" fabric requires a 20" square. Perfect - two 20" squares cut from a width of fabric should give me everything I needed for the border.

I cut the 2 squares, laid them both right side up on top of each other, but rotated one by 90 degrees, so I would get the alternate direction cut.  Then I cut 6 bias strips from each square.  I really lucked out, because when I picked up the first two strips to attach them, I found that the stripes matched PERFECTLY.  This of course inspired me to aim for a perfect match with each join - again luck was with me  and I had to adjust by less than 1/4" at each joint, in order to my border to look seamless.

Of course, mitred corners were necessary, so I carefully attached the first 2 border strips, making sure I had enough length for the mitre. Again luck smiled on me - the ends of the strips were already cut at the appropriate 45 degree angle.  Ok, that's not luck, that's just how cutting bias from a square turns out - as long as you orient the strips correctly when attaching them.

I sewed the first 2 border strips to the long edges, then pinned the shorter strips.  After it was fully pinned, I thought about it for a bit. And realized that I should be able to match these corners too.  A little bit of adjustment, and the corners came out wonderfully. (Yes, there is a seam there)
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I tried a couple of options for borders.  I was planning to use the light pink that was used for setting triangles. But that just wasn't working for me when I laid it out beside the quilt.  So I picked up a darker fabric, which I had originally bought along with the stripe sometime last year. Much better, so that was the choice I went with.

And now the top is done and ready for quilting. I  have a lovely floral pantograph that I think I will try out for this quilt. 



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